This is Amelia Rayno's third season on the Gophers men's basketball beat. She learned college basketball in North Carolina (Go Tar Heels!), where fanhood is not an option. In 2010, she joined the Star Tribune after graduating from Boston's Emerson College, which sadly had no exciting D-I college hoops to latch onto. Amelia has also worked on the sports desk at the Boston Globe and interned at the Detroit News.

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Tubby's first 2012 commit Ellenson: 'I like to dunk'

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under Gophers coaches, Gophers players Updated: August 16, 2011 - 2:32 PM

Tubby Smith locked up the first commit of his 2012 class when Wally Ellenson, a 6-5 wing from Rice Lake, Wis., committed to the Gophers Monday.

Ellenson, a three-star prospect on Rivals.com, took an unofficial visit to the school over the weekend. He said he was impressed when Smith's entire staff joined him and his family on the trip around campus.

"It was just really great for his whole staff to be with us," Ellenson said. "It showed they really cared."

Ellenson said he likes to shoot, but he's also comfortable as a slasher, as seen in the highlights above.

"I'm a shooting guard. I can hit threes. But I also like to drive," he said. "I like to dunk."

Ellenson was scheduled to take visits to West Virginia and Nebraska before he made the decision to join the Gophers.

He said he's excited to compete for Smith starting with the 2012-13 campaign. He'll also have a chance to play close to home. He also has family in the Twin Cities, he said.

Ellenson said he expects to grow under Smith.

"I'm really excited. He's a great coach. He's very smart," Ellenson said. He added: "Minnesota is a great school."

With Trevor Mbakwe and Ralph Sampson III graduating after next season, the Gophers will have two scholarships available for the 2012 class. But the team could lose Rodney Williams to the NBA draft, so don't be surprised if the program locks up a three-man recruiting class.

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